Often considered as “the hidden gem of Asia”, Taiwan has to be one of the most underrated destinations on earth.
Visitors and expatriates can easily feel overwhelmed by the warm-hearted locals, rich traditions, magnificent sights, and delicious food. Yet, despite its astounding qualities, it continues to slip under the radar for most travelers.
However, Taiwan is now starting to get its well-deserved global recognition as it holds a ranking within the top five places for expatriates in this year’s Expat Insider’s 2017 report, published by InterNations. The InterNations Expat Insider Survey publishes a yearly ranking of the best places in the world to live as an expat. Based on responses from over 14,000 participants in 191 countries.
Their last year’s 2016 report awarded Taiwan with the top spot, scoring a top 10 ranking in every individual index measured, ranging from work-life balance to ease of settling in!
So, how does Taiwan continue to score so highly with expats each year, you ask? Well, there are 5 good reasons, check them out:
1. High quality of life
The 2017 Expat Insider’s report ranks Taiwan’s quality of life as the second-best in the world! Taiwan has a lower cost of living when you compare it to the other Western and Asian countries. As expat salaries in Taiwan tend to be pretty high, they’re able to live a comfortable lifestyle with relative ease. With this, expats also get the opportunity to save their earnings while seeing how far they can stretch their money.
Foreigners rate their job satisfaction and job security fairly high for Taiwan. They also report that they have an excellent work-life balance, which is largely thanks to their well-off personal finances. Taiwan’s infrastructure is very modern and well developed. As with other developed Asian countries, Taiwan also sees a lower crime rate compared to most other places around the world, making it a very enjoyable and safe place to live.
2. Breathtaking sights
Taiwan flourishes in a natural green scenery. The island is blessed with tropical forests, misty mountains, enchanting waterfalls, and picturesque landscapes that span far beyond the horizon. Many bike paths can be found going alongside the rich and sparkling coastlines with beaches and nearby hot springs to relax and rejuvenate in.
Taiwan has a diverse mix of modern and traditional sights that are common throughout the island. You’ll see temples and shrines sticking on the mountain peaks, as well as palm trees surrounding bustling cities and public parks.
No matter where you go in Taiwan, there is always something breathtakingly beautiful to experience nearby.
3. World-Class public transport
The transport infrastructure in Taiwan is world-class that earns a great reputation with expats and locals.
Their metro and bus systems are very modern with clearly labeled English signs. Not only is it clean, safe, and reliable, it is also becoming increasingly convenient to use. Almost every bus stop now has screens with real-time updates on individual bus arrivals.
They also have a modern public bike-share system with seemingly limitless bike stations to rent from. What makes Taiwan’s transport super-efficient is that all of these modes of transport (the metro, bikes, and busses) can all be accessed using the same prepaid transit card, which can easily be bought or credited at any station or convenience store.
Taiwan’s public transport is the cheapest option to travel, with the average fare for a journey being between 50 cents and a Dollar (USD) for a single ride across Taipei.
4. Amazing food
The food in Taiwan is delicious. The island is on a never-ending quest for new tastes and flavors which means that there are always new dishes to try. Once you brave it outside your comfort zone to try the street food, you’d be glad that you did! Sure, You would be understandably skeptical when you first come to experience the street vendor’s food, but they truly do serve some of the tastiest dishes, steaming hot and full of flavor.
Then there are the night markets which you can find in every city in Taiwan. While the island is pretty lively during the day, it’s when the sun goes down that these markets come alive with grills, fryers, and blowtorches that light up the streets. These renowned night markets do a fantastic job of showcasing their vibrant sources of local and international delicacies, so expect to visit again and again as there are far too many options to try every appealing dish in one trip!
5. Friendly expat destination
The Taiwanese are some of the most genuinely hospitable people you’ll ever meet in the world. They are very welcoming, friendly, and helpful towards foreigners. They have genuine honesty and kindness about them, making it easy and natural to make good friends.
The Taiwanese society is relatively tolerant and more open-minded compared to their neighboring Asian countries. Even on the global stage, Taiwan has seen to become more progressive on issues of diversity as the nation recently elected a female president, and is currently leading the charge on LGBT rights in Asia. In Amnesty International’s annual report on human rights 2017/18, the organization had also praised Taiwan’s steps taken to legalize same-sex marriage.
One of the best perks of being an expat in Taiwan is that there are many close-knit support networks within foreign communities. You can easily make expat friends with a range of hobbies and interests, who will be more than happy to share activities and explore this island with you.
And there you have it! So how could you not fall in love with this beautiful island? With that said, we hope to see you in Taiwan!
🗓️ Updated: October 2017 – Taipei.Expats